April 7, 2008 WIC Update

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SUBJECT 1: Food Cost Containment Measures Being Implemented May 1, 2008
SUBJECT 2: WIC Operations Manual (WOM) – Revised
SUBJECT 3: No HANDS Help Desk Coverage-April 2008 Meetings
SUBJECT 4: Revised WIC Approved Food List and WIC Supply Request Form
SUBJECT 5: March Caseload

  1. Food Cost Containment Measures Being Implemented May 1, 2008:
    All local WIC providers will be getting a letter explaining the food cost containment measures that Missouri is implementing May 1, 2008 to address increasing food costs and program participation.  Our goal is to maintain services to participants and control rising food costs.  Food costs have increased 10% and program participation 4% in the past six months.  We are committed to maintaining current service levels.  In order to do this, we must reduce the cost of food packages through food-item changes.  Therefore, the following national brand cereals and national and private label brand juices are being removed from the WIC Approved Food List:
    • General Mills Cheerios and Corn Flakes and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
    • Quaker Oats 12-ounce Instant Oatmeal
    • All Store Brand 46-ounce plastic bottles of juice
    • All Dole, Minute Maid, Tropicana and Welch’s brands of frozen juice
    • All 11.5-ounce Libby’s and Welch’s brands of shelf stable concentrate juice

    Letters explaining the changes along with supporting materials and signs will be sent to vendors and local WIC providers during the week of April 7.  We realize that many participants have already received their May checks and you will not see them again until after the May 1 food list changes are implemented.  The vendors will be instructed to refer those participants back to their local agency if they have questions.  Please contact your TA team with any questions.
  1. WIC Operations Manual (WOM) – Revised:  The new WOM has been completed and is ready for installation.  This year, the WOM installation will be done via the web through a link in Crystal Reports.  Log into Crystal reports.  Then go to WIC Reports - Local Agency, WIC Program Downloads, WIC Operations Manual.
    There are three (3) items in this folder: instructions to remove old versions and install new version of the WOM, the WOM verification form, and a link to download the WOM.

    A couple of things to remember: the new WOM will not run if previous versions are not removed first.  Be sure to complete the WOM verification form and return it to the state office.

    For assistance contact Melissa Seaver at melissa.seaver@health.mo.gov or 573-751-6489 or 800-392-8209.  For policy interpretation or questions about policy changes, please contact your district TA team.
  1. No HANDS Help Desk Coverage-April 2008 Meetings:  There will be no HANDS Help Desk coverage on April 23 from 1:00-5:00 and on April 24 from 8:00-3:00 for staff meetings.
    If you have questions, contact Mark Davis at mark.davis@health.mo.gov or 573-526-5323 or 800-392-8209.
  2. Revised WIC Approved Food List and WIC Supply Request Form:  The State WIC office shipped the revised WIC Approved Food Lists to all local WIC providers via UPS on April 2, 2008.  The effective period for the revised WIC Approved Food Lists (English - green sheets and Spanish - white sheets) is from May 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008.

    We encourage you to provide the revised food lists to participants; however, you may also utilize the pictorial food lists by marking out the following discontinued food items:
  1. March Caseload:  The month of March showed a slight dip in caseload (to 139,757), perhaps the result of widespread flooding during this month.  March '08 caseload showed a 5.97% increase over March '07.  Please see the caseload graph.  We are continuing to see high demand for WIC services at most agencies.  We thank you for your dedication and passion in providing services to those in such great need.  Any caseload questions can be directed to your district team or Jim Schinder at James.Schindler@health.mo.gov

Attachments:
WIC-8 Supply Request Form 03-31-08
Missouri WIC Caseload Analysis '07-March '08